Charles and Ray Eames focused their considerable talents on creating well-designed products with practical, real-world applications. So it only seems fitting that, starting June 17, images of the mid-20th-century pair and their work will appear on a pane of 16 commemorative stamps from the United States Postal Service. “It's a perfect marriage of subject and purpose,” says Derry Noyes, the Postal Service art director who proposed the idea.

The stamps highlight items from the Eames' iconic body of furniture, architecture, textiles, graphics, home accessories, and film, as well as a playful photo of the couple themselves. “The images reduced down beautifully,” Noyes says. “There's lots of color and silhouette. You want to show the structural beauty, the way things fit together.” Along with her love of Charles and Ray Eames' design sensibility, she also shares a personal connection with them: her father was the modernist architect and industrial designer Eliot Noyes, and her parents were close friends of the couple.

Noyes says she and the Postal Service hope the stamps will expand the audience for the Eames' creations, as well as delight long-time fans. Twenty-four million individual Eames stamps will be printed; they'll be available until they sell out or for up to one year.

  • Credit: Copyright 2008 USPS